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Not all Bend neighborhood streets plowed; warm weather helping melt snow

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend and Redmond)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The plows are out, the snow is melting, but not every street will be cleaned.

Charles Swann, streets operation manager with the city of Bend, said Wednesday, “Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t treat every residential neighborhood the same.”

He said Priority 1 roads that lead to hospitals, schools and police and fire stations are the main snowplow focus, with connecting roads following.

But this week, the snowplows had to hit those top-priority roads multiple times, leaving certain neighborhood roads for later.

“Although we do have our staff in residential neighborhoods right now, it’s a very slow go, because we are removing the berm in front of driveways as we’re going,” Swann said. 

Swann said the No. 1 priority is always safety, but if there’s no hazard present and the snow might melt anyway, then some of these neighborhood roads might never get plowed this time around.

“Within the next few days, a lot of this snow will be gone,” Swann said. “It’s an inconvenience with the neighborhoods yes now but what we would do in some cases would be worse to get into the neighborhood.”

The city of Redmond, meanwhile, was able to get to more neighborhood streets.

“We got about 95 percent, 90-95 percent coverage,” said Brad Haynes, streets operations manager with the city of Redmond.

But Redmond also benefited from an earlier stop to the snowfall.

“The snow stopped at about 10 o'clock on Monday night, and we were able to get our priority routes done. And that’s what really helped us,” Haynes said. 

The city of Bend does have a service request form you can fill out for snow removal, but Swann says residential streets are cleaned based off of 911 calls and safety concerns, not volume of requests.

“The priorities aren’t based really on the number of calls a neighborhood calls in, vs. where the need is in the public,” Swann said. 

The city of Bend received 153 service requests this week, mostly relating to residential roads.

Priority routes receive de-icing, sanding and plowing first. Get plowing information and maps here and more winter tips from the city here.   

Here's the city of Redmond's snow and ice operations page, including a link to their plan.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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